Views from a Pledge: Know your ties

Matt Hasty

One of the most fundamental parts of pledgeship in a fraternity or a sorority is the attire one must wear to pledge meetings. For fraternity pledges, this consists of a pair of khakis or dress slacks, a button down dress shirt, a blazer, dress shoes, the pledge pin and a tie.

Some people who pledge fraternities go in without knowing a key skill: How to tie a tie. It could be from lack of parental instruction, never having needed to learn or never having needed to dress up. Luckily, there are resources online for people to learn to tie a tie.

You may be asking, “why do I need to learn this?”  People should learn this because it could not only help them in Greek pledgeship, but after college as well. Some careers in the real world require their employees to dress professionally. A tie complements the ensemble you are presenting to people when you wear dress clothes. Additionally, the wrong color tie could easily make or break a job interview.

According to the Telegraph, a United Kingdom based publication, a person should wear a red, navy, maroon, brown or yellow tie.

Red ties make the interviewee appear to give an impression of strength, passion and masculinity. Navy and maroon ties makes the wearer appear harmonic, tranquil and confident. Yellow ties make the wearer stand out and shows courage to be unique. Brown ties make the wearer appear reliable. Avoiding purple and pink ties, however, is necessary. Purple ties make the wearer look arrogant, while pink ties makes the wearer look in need of sympathy and admiration.

After the person chooses the tie they want to wear, it is time to tie. There are several different ways to do this. A person could choose a full Windsor knot, however, in my opinion, the half Windsor knot is the easiest.

The instructions for the half Windsor knot are below:

  • Start with the wide end of the tie on the right and the small end on the left. The tip of the small end should rest slightly above your belly-button (this will vary depending on your height and the length & thickness of your tie). Only move the active or wide end.

  • Wide end over the small end to the left.

  • Under the small end and to the right.

  • Up to the center, towards the neck loop.

  • Through the neck loop and to the left.

  • Across the front and over to the right.

  • Up into the neck loop from underneath.

  • Down through the loop you’ve just created in the front.

  • Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end.

  • Slide the knot up on your neck & adjust.

If you are a visual learner, there are great, informative YouTube videos that show you how to easily tie not just a half Windsor knot, but other knots as wells. also has videos that show you how to tie a tie.

With these tips, you can learn to be the best dressed fraternity member you can be.